Saturday, April 30, 2005


Friday, April 29, 2005
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
Now Webcasting
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
Cold Feelings by Social Distortion
Ring of Fire by Johnny Cash
Strange Woman by June Carter
California Stars by Billy Bragg & Wilco
Someone Else's Song by Wilco
Cocktail Desperado by Terry Allen
Running Gun by Michael Martin Murphey
Taxes on the Farmer Feed Us All by Ry Cooder

Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap by Hayseed Dixie
I'm Gonna Dig Up Howlin' Wolf by Mojo Nixon & Skid Roper
My Wife Thinks You're Dead by Junior Brown
Waitin' On a Train by The Bottle Rockets
Daddy's Cup by Drive-By Truckers
24-Hour Store by The Handsome Family
Jesus Rolled Over by Hundred Year Flood
Can Man Polka by Joe West

You're Gonna Miss Me by Hasil Adkins
Hot Rodding in San Jose by The Legendary Stardust Cowboy
Miss Missy From Old Hong Kong by Webb Wilder
You Ought to See Pickles Now by Tommy Collins
(This Isn't Just Another) Lust Affair by Mel Street
Walk on By by Charlie Pride
Lead Me On by Conway Twitty & Loretta Lynn
Whoa Sailor by Hank Thompson
Big City by Merle Haggard
Red or Green by Lenny Roybal

Potato's in the Paddy Wagon by The New Main Street Singers
Nothin' Wrong With Me by NRBQ
Statue of Jesus by The Gear Daddies
Pity the Wandering Man by Hank & Nancy Webster
Hope Fades by Ronny Elliott
Fight or Flight by Shine Cherries
Moves Me Deeply by Peter Case
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

Steve Terrell is proud to report to the monthly Freeform American Roots Radio list

Friday, April 29, 2005


I just watched a movie that I hadn't seen since the 1980s -- Crossroads, a 1986 picaresque blues fable and Voodoo allegory with echoes of Huckleberry Finn starring Joe Seneca and Ralph Macchio.

Seneca plays Willie Brown -- you might remember Robert Johnson mentioning him in his song "Crossroads" -- a cantankerous old bluesman wasting away in a New York City nursing home. Macchio plays Eugene -- later dubbed "Lightning Boy" by Willie. He's a nerdy Julliard student studying classical guitar, even though his true love is the blues. He locates Willie in a quixotic search for a mysterious "lost" Robert Johnson song. Willie agrees -- if young Eugene helps break him out of the nursing home and takes him back to Mississippi.

Besides Seneca's performance, the music is the main draw. It was put together by Ry Cooder. Sonny Terry plays the harmonica parts. The movie includes a performance by Frank Frost, whose band includes Otis Taylor on lead guitar. (But I'm not sure it's the same Colorado Otis Taylor of When Negroes Walked the Earth/White African fame. He sure doesn't look like the Otis I've seen and his bio doesn't mention Frank Frost or Crossroads.)Frost sings a jumping version of "Cotton Needs Pickin'"

The movie culminates in a "head-cutting" contest between Lightning Boy (Cooder's actually playing guitar) and a soul-selling hotshot played by metal monster Steve Vai. At stake are the souls of both Lightning Boy and Willie, who back in his youth signed at contract at the crossroads with the Voodoo god Legba. It's a cosmic showdown introduced by a surreal gospel quartet (featuring Bobby King)singing "Somebody's Callin' My Name." When the contest gets going the stage is graced by a sexy dancer (Gretchen Palmer) wildly prancing around the stage in a slinky black dress and red flower in her hair. She's not identified as such in the credits, but those with eyes to see will recognize her as Erzulie, Voodoo goddess of love.

Sure it's corny and you know who's going to win. But it's an enticing little melodrama.

Crossroads has been unavailable on DVD since it was quietly released last summer in that format. For the last few years if you asked for Crossroads at a video store, they'd think you were talking about that Brittney Spears movie of the same name. The real Crossroads is available at Netflix too. And Cooder's soundtrack still is available also, although it unfortunately doesn't have the head-cutting guitar showdown.

Hey Warner Brothers/Rhino -- isn't it about time for a deluxe 20th Anniversary Edition of the Crossroads soundtrack?


Coyote Kick Band
Acie Cargill’s Memorial Tributes

(Cobwebs Records)

Every time I hear folk-poet/picker/singer Acie Cargill, it feels like I’m listening to a true uncorrupted American voice. Cargill’s records seem like handmade artifacts -- no fancy production, and lyrics that, while sometimes clumsy and proudly corny, are so sincere they jolt you.

Coyote Kick Band is something of a departure for Cargill, who previously specialized in acoustic folk and country. But Coyote rocks with electric guitar and drums, as well as fiddle, banjo and mandolin.

There’s love songs, backwoods standards like the instrumental fiddle tune “Sally Goodin” a couple of mama songs (including a reprise of the Cargill classic “Dear Mother,” where mama gives advice like “Don’t you ever hit a woman, no matter what.” and “don’t you ever play gospel music in a tavern”) and topical songs.

“Baghdad Baghdad” shows Cargill’s inner conflicts about the war. It’s about a frightened soldier trying to communicate with Iraquis who hate him.

In mid April -- just days after the death of the Pope and just before the 10th anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing -- he released a new five-song EP of tribute songs. One‘s for “John Paul the Peacemaker” and one’s for the bombing victims (“Is this what you wanted, Tim McVeigh?”) Other subjects include NFL star Pat Tilman, (killed in combat in Afghanistan), Irish Republican Army martyr Bobby Sands and folksinger Dave Carter.

UPDATE: When I posted this review this morning I did so because I thought it was scheduled to run today in Pasatiempo's "Pasa Tempos" record review section. When I actually got the paper, I learned it was wrong. I usually wait for my New Mexican stuff to come out in print before I post it here. I guess this should just be considered a little free bonus preview for my loyal blog readers. Hopefully it'll see print next week.


As published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
April 29, 2005

Beck fans rejoice! The enchanted wizard of rhythm has returned. His new album Guero -- while not quite up to Odelay, Mellow Gold or my guilty Beck pleasure Midnight Vultures -- is a solid work of sonic wonder. And most importantly, it’s strong evidence that Beck has got over his mopiness that marred his previous album Sea Change.

Pardon my digression: I know that lots of Beck fans and lots of my fellow denizens of criticdom absolutely loved Sea Change, Beck’s 2002 musical account of the demise of a love relationship. I forget which gushing rock scribe compared this self-pitying mess with Hank Williams.

Blasphemer! Thou shalt not take Hank’s name in vain!

Don’t get me wrong. A break-up is indeed legitimate ground to plough for songwriters. Think Bob Dylan’s Blood on the Tracks or Tom Russell’s Borderland or Marvin Gaye‘s Here My Dear.

Beck’s morose little song cycle might have showed another side of the crazy kitchen-sink sonic trickster we loved, but the music came nowhere near these classic break-up records. It didn’t even match his own Mutations, a previous album of slower, more somber tunes.

Maybe I’m oppressing the artist. But when listen to Beck, I don’t want some sensitive troubadour, I want magic and hipster insanity.

But, back to the present:

With Guero (hey gringo, it’s pronounced “whetto” and it means “blondie.”) Beck sounds like he’s having fun again. It’s a return to Beck’s freewheeling, funky, clunky sound, mixing hip-hop, blues, porno-soundtrack rock and any other sound that isn’t nailed down. With his old pals The Dust Brothers producing, Beck sounds like he’s ready to go back to Houston and do that hotdog dance.

It starts off with a nasty, fuzzy guitar and heavy-handed drums on “E-Pro,” quieting down for Beck to sing the verses. And it sounds like he means business:

“See me comin’/to town with my soul/straight down of the world with my fingers/holding onto the devil I know all my trouble’s hang/on your trigger.”

A galaxy of sonic delights follows.

“Que Onda Guero” is pure Beckian fun. With Dust Brothers scratching and taunting Spanish voices in the background, Beck takes a picture of a gringo lost in the barrio. "Andelay joto, your popsicle’s melting …”

“Go it Alone” is a collaboration with The White Stripes’ Jack White. It’s a slinky bluesy number with a downright hairy guitar that keeps threatening to erupt. It might have been cool if Beck had shared vocals with White, who just plays bass here. But it sounds pretty cool as is.

“Farewell Ride” is a sweet nod to Beck’s folk roots -- a nasty slide guitar and harmonica over robo chain-gang percussion, with lyrics lifted from Blind Lemon Jefferson’s “One Kind Favor” (“Two white horses in a line/Two white horses in a line …”)

“Missing” has a bosa nova sound, while the chorus and distorted guitar sound on “Earthquake Weather” sounds like a postcard to Steely Dan.

Beck is at his Beckiest on “Rental Car” Some truly obnoxious guitar interplays with what sounds a harpsichord. In the middle a near metal jam is interrupted by Petra Hayden sounding like she’s auditioning for The Swingle Singers, chirping “La la la la La … ” You can almost see the interlude from some ‘60s movie with some groovy couple rolling in the daisies. Till Beck’s rasty guitar comes back.

It’s a good think that nasty guitar is back. And the silly samples and the crunchy percussion and the psychedelic joy-boy lyrics … Welcome back, Beck.

{Note: I snapped the photo of Beck, above, at Lollapaloza in Denver, 1995.}

Also Recommended:

The Lighthouse
by Ana da Silva. I would bet that most of the fans of The Raincoats in this country came to them through the late Kurt Cobain, a devoted fan who talked them up in interviews.

For the uninitiated, The Raincoats was a British female punk band led by da Silva and Gina Birch. They disbanded in 1984, but, after Cobain-related publicity, reunited, toured with Nirvana in England and made a pretty fine comeback album called Looking in the Shadows -- before slipping back to the shadows again.

Now, a decade later, da Silva has resurfaced with this album. The Lighthouse is largely a self-made affair with da Silva as a virtual one-woman electronic band, playing keyboards, some guitar and singing.

The voice -- sweet, silky and extremely British -- is the main draw, thought the instrumental “Hospital Window” is gorgeous.

There are few overt traces of punk left here. The melodies are pretty and the music restrained.

There’s a little hint of menace in “In Awe of a Painting” where the shaky-handed singer is spilling coffee as she gazes at a lover. She sounds like the queen of electro-Wonderland in “Disco Ball” and like a less crazy Nina Hagen in “Two Windows Over the Wings.”

Then there’s “Modinha” a song written by Brazilian master Antonio Carlos Jobim that has echoes of Bjork and -- not as obviously -- Marianne Faithful.

I hope it doesn’t take another decade for da Silva to bless us with more music.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005


Just some stray thoughts about the Wilco concert I saw in Albuquerque last night.

I hadn't seen Jeff Tweedy and the boys in 10 years -- they came to Santa Fe's tiny Club Alegria in May 1995, soon after releasing AM. (Besides stuff from their first album, I remember them playing a great cover of The Texas Tornados' "Who Were You Thinking Of" and a botched, aborted stab at Neil Young's "Albuquerque.")

They were supposed to come to the Lensic in Santa Fe last year but cancelled due to Jeff Tweedy's rehab stint. "I was indisposed," Tweedy said from the stage last night.

I don't know if it was "worth the wait," but Wilco certainly didn't disappoint last night.

Though they started off slowly last night, opening with a questionable choice -- a slow,delicate "Muzzle of Bees" -- things soon picked up. By the third or fourth song, "I Am Trying to Break Your Heart," the spell was cast.

Nels Cline is a great addition to the band. From some stray reports I'd heard I was afraid he'd dominate, but that's not the case. The two keyboardists also fill out the sound. (Anyone know their names? Post 'em on the comments section here.) Sometimes they suggested The Band, sometimes Brian Wilson.

Most the songs, unsurprisingly were from A Ghost is Born -- which is far from my favorite Wilco album, though I appreciate some of the songs better after hearing them live -- and Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. They also reached back for at several songs from Summerteeth ("A Shot in the Arm" and "Candy Floss" stood out),at least one from Being There ("Kingpin") and several quasi-acoustic tunes from the Mermaid Avenue records including a beautiful (how could it be otherwise) "Remember the Mountain Bed," "Another Man's Done Gone" and "California Stars."

For me the transcendental highlight was when the cacophony at the end of "Poor Places" melted into a lethal version of "Spider (Kidsmoke)"

It also was good seeing The Handsome Family. Unlike other times when I've seen them, they had a full band including Brett's brother Darrell on banjo and bass (switching off with Rennie) and Eric Johnson on drums (Both are from the Albuquerque group The Rivet Gang.) Rennie's raps about the various Wal-Marts in Albuquerque are getting even more funny.

The whole show made me happy.

By the way, at this writing it looks like nobody's posted the set list from last night's show on WilcoBase yet. If anyone was taking notes last night (not me -- I'm off work this week!) please share with the world.

Speaking of fine shows I had a great time Saturday night at Al Faaet's Martini Prophecies at the High Mayhem Studio. It was an evening of true New-Year's-Eve-in-the-nut-house music. The type of show that the devil inside of me fantasizes about seeing on The Plaza frightening unsuspecting tourists ...

(Full disclosure time, Al's a good buddy of mine and is in fact the drummer of my long dormant CHARRED REMAINS. The show included my baby brother Jack too. And for the record, deep in my heart, I do believe that J.A. Deane actually is the 14-year-old Perfect Master. Other than that, I'm completely unbiased.)

And as much as the music, I appreciated the sense of true community created by High Mayhem master Max Friedenberg and his sinister cohorts. It's a friendly, welcoming little scene and I hope it thrives.

I picked up a copy of the High Mayhem Festival 2003 CD and it's a great sampler of this kind of experimental, improvisational music. (I haven't had a chance yet to fool around with the CD-ROM, which includes complete performances of the artists on the CD.)

Monday, April 25, 2005


Sunday, April 24, 2005
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
Now Webcasting
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Gimme Danger by The Stooges
Baby Please Don't Go by Them
The Kingdom of My Mind by The Mistaken
Holy Roller Novocaine by The Kings of Leon
From Blown Speakers by The New Pornographers
You Got the Silver by The Rolling Stones
Taitschi Tarot by Nina Hagen
Young Widow Polka by Bacova's Ceska Kapela

Buried the Pope by Stan Ridgway
Tangled Up in Plaid by Queens of the Stone Age
Mannish Boy by The Electrik Mudkats with Chuck D & Common
Hende Baba by Thomas Mapfumo
To You Kasiunia by Warsaw Village Band
Crackhouse Mayday Suicide by Stuubaard Bakkebaard
Game of Pricks by Guided by Voices

High Mayhem Festival 2003 Track 1 by My Country of Illusion
High Mayhem Festival 2003 Track 2 by Zimbabwe NKenya's Contrabass Quartet
Forbidden Fruits, New Mexico by Lisa Gill
Lost Boys and Pirates by Out of Context
Feet of Stone by Bing
High Mayhem Festival 2003 Track 18 by Invisible Plane

Hell is Chrome by Wilco
Murder's Crossed My Mind by Desdemona Finch
Little Floater by NRBQ
Song Against Sex by Neutral Milk Hotel
In Awe of a Painting by Ana da Silva
Now I Lay Me Down by Howe Gelb
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Sunday, April 24, 2005


Santa Fe Public Radio, KSFR won 13 awards, including news station of the year from New Mexico's Associated Press Broadcasters.

One of those was a first place award for the station's coverage of last year's political conventions in Boston and New York. I'm proud to have been part of that team, which also included John Calef, Bradley Meacham and Zellie Pollon. I phoned in some reports from the conventions, which I was covering for The Santa Fe New Mexican.

News director Bill Dupuy deserves most the credit for these awards though.

Read about it HERE

Saturday, April 23, 2005


Friday, April 22, 2005
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
Now Webcasting
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
Better Everyday by The Waco Brothers
I've Always Been Crazy by Carlene Carter
I Must Be High by Wilco
Interstate City by Dave Alvin
Arizona Siritual by Terry Allen
Johnnie Armstrong by Michael Martin Murphey
El Corrido de Emilio Naranjo by Angel Espinoza

John Paul the Peacemaker by Acie Cargill
Po' Boy by Bob Dylan
Tallacatcha by Alvin Youngblood Hart
Grapevine by Tom Russell
Sweet Rosie Jones by Jim Lauderdale
Mental Cruelty by Buck Owens & Rose Maddox
Rita by Vincent Craig
Incident in Juarez (Los Rubboardistas)by Cornell Hurd

Silver Dollar by Bone Orchard
How Lew Sin Ate by Dr. West's Medicine Show & Junk Band
Beer Ticket Rag by Devil in the Woodpile
No Swallerin' Place by June Carter
Monkey on a String by Charlie Pool
The Prune Waltz by Adoph Hofner
Old Rattler by Grandpa Jones
Drivin' Nails in My Coffin by Larry Welborn
Mike the Can Man by Joe West

Chili Fields by Lenny Roybal
Love is No Excuse by Justin Trevino with Miss Norma Jean
Billy Joe by Audrey Auld Mezera
Street Walking Woman by Shaver
Linda on My Mind by Conway Twitty
So Round So Firm by Eddie Pennington
Church on Fire by Kev Russell
Give My Love to Rose by Johnny Cash
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

Steve Terrell is proud to report to the monthly Freeform American Roots Radio list

Friday, April 22, 2005


As published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
April 22, 2005

Zimbabwe maestro Thomas Mapfumo has battled the old apartheid-style government of Rhodesia. He has openly attacked the corrupt dictatorship of Robert Mugabe -- a move that forced him into exile from his native land.

And now he’s challenging the music industry itself by releasing his latest album -- plus a previously unreleased live album -- exclusively on the Internet in the form of MP3 downloads.

Mapfumo’s new Rise Up! and his 1991 Afropop Worldwide Presents Thomas Mapfumo and the Blacks Unlimited, Live in New York are available at, an extremely cool world music site known for their “fair trade” policy.

That means the recording artists get 50 percent of what you pay for downloading their songs.

Despite the Recording Industry Association of America’s hair-pulling and teeth-gnashing in claiming that illegal downloading rips off the poor artist, the big companies that make up the RIAA don’t pay anywhere near 50 percent. (And in fact countless performers and songwriters long ago lost their rights to their own music -- see my "Jazzmen" post below -- so don’t let the suits guilt trip you.)

Calabash charges 99 cents a track, so the complete Rise Up! will cost you just under $11, while the complete live album will cost less than $12 -- but this is for nearly two hours of music.

Both these albums of part of what Calabash is calling The Mapfumo Files -- 15 albums going back to the ‘80s that you can download as a set for $99.

The way of the future?

Releasing albums exclusively on the Internet reminds me of an old line by The Firesign Theatre: “If you asked for this record in the stores, they’d think you were crazy!”

Mapfumo, according to his publicists, is the first “world music” artist to release an album exclusively in MP3 form. The world’s a big place, so it’s nearly impossible to tell if that’s entirely true -- though it’s safe to say that he’s the first major world-beat star to do so.

He’s not the first name artist to do it though. That honor belongs to They Might Be Giants, who in 1999 released Long Tall Weekend exclusively on eMusic.

Despite the success of music downloading services like iTunes, I’m not sure lucrative a proposition it is to release entire albums exclusively as downloads. It’s hard to name any notable artists besides Mapfumo and TMBG who have done it.

In fact, some editors and critics in the world music realm reportedly balked at Mapfumo’s move, some saying that some of their writers are so computer-challenged they can‘t handle it, others saying that downloading is too much of a hassle.

“I am quite dismayed by this turn of events and the future it presages,” one editor whined. “Please consider the dinosaurs still left roaming the earth.”

While the technophobic implications here seem overblown, there are some points to consider. While more and more people do have computers these days, there are still many fans and potential fans who don’t. For these folks, download-only albums are more than a “hassle.”

And even for some with computers there are glitches. Unless you have a high-speed connection, downloading an album takes forever. (I usually start downloading right before I go to bed.)

And a few of the Mapfumo downloads I had to do over because the ends of the tracks somehow got clipped off by the time they reached my computer. Fortunately, Calabash doesn’t charge for re-downloading.

I’m of two minds on the issue of download-only albums. On one hand I like the idea of musicians bypassing the record companies, having more control of their products and taking a bigger cut of the profits. I also like the convenience of being able to click on a song and have it in my computer ready to burn instantly. (OK, with dial-up, it’s not really instant, but you get the point.)

On the other hand, doing away with finished manufactured products -- hard copies, cover art, liner notes, etc. -- is another nail in the coffin of old-fashioned record stores.

I love browsing through a great record store, gazing at all the colorful covers, trying to read as much information as CD packages allow, checking out the new releases, the used section, the bargain bins, listening to what the clerks are playing …

But maybe I’m being nostalgic here. Even before downloading music became a big issue, the reality of the locally-owned, independent record stores was grinding to a halt. Santa Fe hasn’t had a great one for years, since Rare Bear folded.

So maybe Web-exclusive albums are the way of the future. I just hope artists like Mapfumo and not the corporations benefit.

Mapfumo’s albums

No matter how it got to my ears, Mapfumo’s Chimurenga music is a joy. With out-front guitar and mbiras -- the plinking Zimbabwean instrument in which more than 20 metal keys are mounted to a hardwood soundboard -- and Mapfumo’s call-and-response with his female vocalists

No, I don’t speak Shona, Mapfumo’s language, so I don’t really know what he’s singing about. But even without the benefit of lyrics it’s obvious that Rise Up! has a somber tone. Maybe I’m reading too much into the fact that he’s been living in this country (Eugene, Ore. To be exact) for five years. But there seems to be a sadness permeating the sweet grooves of this album.

Live in New York on the other hand is far more energetic. It was recorded with Mapfumo’s band Blacks Unlimited, several of whom have since died.

The set starts off slow with “Nyamaropa,” a mbira song, but picks up quickly. My favorite here probably is “Jo Jo,” which starts off with a blast of the horn section and eventually melts into a glorious 10-minute jam.


Back in the summer of 1970, just weeks after National Guard troops killed four students at an anti-war demonstration at Kent State University, the song "Ohio" became a hit for Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. Neil Young wrote the lyrics, according to some accounts, the day of the killing and soon afterward got the rest of the guys in the studio. Within mere days, "Tin soldiers and Nixon's coming" was blasting over radios all over this great nation.

This quick musical response to big news stories doesn't happen much anymore. (Can you imagine "Ohio" getting past today's Clear Channel taste setters?)

But in the past two weeks two songs paying tribute to the life of Pope John Paul II.

Just today Stan Ridgway sent folks on his e-mail list a link to a free MP3 of "Buried the Pope (Blues for John Paul)."

Despite the funny picture, this is an earnest and sincere song in which Stan calls the late pontiff, "a man of peace and hope."

The other Pope song came out even quicker. Last Friday I received an CD from Chicago singer/songwriter/picker/poet Acie Cargill. It's a 5-song EP and among those to whom he pays tribute is John Paul II in a song called "John Paul the Peacemaker."

I can't find the EP on Acie's Web site, but if you scroll down to "singles & Shorts" section, you can buy a single of the song.

Unlike Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young in 1970, Stan and Acie aren't going to get much airplay with their respective pope tunes. But I'll play Acie's tonight on The Santa Fe Opry and Ridgway's Sunday night on Terrell's Sound World. Both shows start at 10 p.m. Moutnain Daylight Time on KSFR, 90.7 FM.

Thursday, April 21, 2005


NPR's All Things Considered has been running a disturbing series by reporter Felix Contreras this week about what happens to jazz musicians when they age.

On Wednesday night Contreras talked with Little Jimmy Scott and others who have lost out on royalties.

This is infuriating when you consider all the record industry's non-stop whining that internet downloading (and a few years ago used CDs) hurt artists because it denies them royalties. In truth, the music industry has done more harm to artists and their royalties than downloading ever could.

Other stories in the series can be heard HERE and HERE.

The last installment is tonight. KUMN has been playing these after 6 p.m.


As published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
April 21, 2005

Gov. Bill Richardson had some fun at the expense of fellow Democrat Joe Lieberman in a speech to The Associated Press in San Francisco Monday.

"Did you see that kiss that the president gave Lieberman after the State of the Union?" Richardson asked. "Turns out that was the farthest Lieberman has ever gotten with a goy."

Though he used to get rather defensive with the New Mexico press about his habit making his state police drivers go way over the speed limit, in front of a national press audience, Richardson he made a joke out of a well-publicized 2003 incident.

"Sen. Lieberman got me in trouble too," Richardson said. "You may have read in The Washington Post ... that I was seen driving 100 mph going to one of Sen. Lieberman's fund raisers. I was just trying to get there while Lieberman was still a Democrat."

Emulating Gary: Richardson is still a Democrat, but lately he seems to be taking on some traits of a Republican - namely his predecessor, Gary Johnson.
Earlier this year Richardson was honored by the conservative/libertarian think tank, The Cato Institute, who named Richardson the most fiscally responsible Democratic governor in the U.S. The Cato folks used to be wild for Johnson.

And on Tuesday, the gov's office announced that the nation's most fiscally responsible Democratic governor is having lunch Friday with magazine publisher Steve Forbes -- who was Gary Johnson's candidate for president in 2000."

Forbes is trying to get state business leaders to sponsor a special economic development supplement in upcoming issues of Forbes Magazine and Forbes International Magazine.

Filibuster follies: One of the most partisan sore spots in Congress these days is the possibility that Senate Republicans -- frustrated with Democrats blocking some of President Bush's candidates for federal judgeships -- might seek to end the right of senators to filibuster judicial nominees.

Democrats, who are the minority party in the Senate, vehemently oppose this threatened change, which has been dubbed "the nuclear option."

New Mexico senators are divided on the issue. Democrat Jeff Bingaman is against doing away with the judicial filibuster, while Republican Pete Domenici has been convinced that the "nuclear option" might be necessary.

But Republicans point out that 10 years ago the filibuster shoes were on the other feet.

In 1995, Bingaman was one of 19 senators to support a proposal that would have limited filibusters.

At that time, all Republicans in the Senate, including Domenici, voted against the rule change.

So why have our senators done an apparent do si do on the filibuster issue?

Jude McCartin, a spokeswoman for Bingaman, said Wednesday that the measure her boss voted for is different than the measure sponsored a decade ago by Sens. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa and Joe Lieberman, D-Connecticut.

The Harkin-Lieberman amendment "would have closed debate on progressively lower thresholds starting with three-fifths and gradually reducing the votes needed to a simple majority," McCartin said.

Under that proposal, a senator could still hold up legislation or a nomination by 57 days, she said.

"The Harkin proposal was in response to general legislative gridlock," McCartin said, noting that the Dems were the minority party in the Senate back then too.

She said in that particular Congressional session, "there had been twice as many filibusters as there were from 1789 to 1960. We do not have that kind of general gridlock. About 95 percent of Bush's judicial nominees have been confirmed and the federal courts now have the lowest vacancy level since the Reagan administration."

But Republicans say that doing away with judicial filibusters has become necessary because, they say, Democrats have abused the system in holding up some Bush choices.

"Sen. Domenici, being a member of the minority party for much of his career has a good understanding of guarding against trampling the rights of minority party members," said Domenici spokesman Matt Letourneau.

But, he said, judicial filibusters "have not been part of the process." Until the George W. Bush administration, he said, the last time a judicial nominee was filibustered was in the late 1960s, when Republicans successfully opposed President Johnson's nomination of Abe Fortas as chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

"It took him a long time to get to where he'd go along with the nuclear option," Letourneau said. "Even today Sen. Domenici would like to see a resolution of this problem without having to resort to that."

Monday, April 18, 2005


Sunday, April 17, 2005
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
Now Webcasting
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Pay Day Loans by The Winking Tikis
Matchecka (At Mty Mothers remix) by The Warsaw Village Band
Faraway by Sleater-Kinney
Bu$leaguer by Pearl Jam
Yes by Manic Street Preachers
Revolution Part 1 by The Butthole Surfers
Nasty Boogie by Champion Jack Dupree

Earthquake Weather by Beck
Justine Allright by Heavy Trash
Elves by The Fall
Hell Rules by Thinking Fellers Union Local 282
Hende Baba by Thomas Mapfumo
Everybody Knows That You Are Insane by Queens of the Stone Age
Get Off the Air by The Angry Samoans
Winner of the Zoo by Romz Record Crew

Lookin' Down the Road by Lou Reed
25th Century Quaker by Captain Beefheart
Advance Romance by Frank Zappa with Captain Beefheart
The FCC Song by Eric Idle

Crime Scene Part 1 by The Afghan Whigs
Swingin Party by The Replacements
You Are So Beautiful by Al Green
O Children by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Glisten by Howe Gelb
Evil Will Prevail by The Flaming Lips
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Saturday, April 16, 2005


One thing I've learned during my 25 years in journalism: You get accused of the damnedest things.

Just yesterday a strange Internet accusation came to my attention. It's on a web forum for supporters of Gen. Wesley Clark. (The 2008 election is closer than you think, folks ...)

A forum member known as "KayCeNM" posted my Roundhouse Round-up column about Gov. Bill Richardson on Saturday Night Live.

In introducing it, KayCeNM said:

Steve Terrell is the one that blacked out our General in our local paper. I've never forgiven him for hat.

I did what??????????

How was General Clark "blacked out" in the paper? During the New Mexico presidential caucus season in late 2003-early 2004, I remember writing stories when Clark had a press conference in the governor's office then toured the local food bank; when Gert Clark appeared at a rally; when Jamie Koch and a couple of other staffers jumped ship from the doomed Gephardt campaign and went to work for Clark; and covering a meeting of Clark campaign workers at Tiny's Lounge.

This plus countless mentions in various stories when I called to get reactions from the various campaigns. Plus there were stories about the Clark campaign in The New Mexican by the Associated Press and other writers.

One bit of coverage preserved here in this very blog is a post-caucus column recalling Roberto Mondragon singing "Decolores" at a Clark rally at the Inn at Loretto.

If my purpose was to "black out" Clark coverage, I did a pretty lousy job at it.

I tried to find an e-mail link for KayCeNM but wasn't successful. I'm interested in hearing KayCe's side of the story about me "blacking out" the general.


Friday, April 15, 2005
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
Now Webcasting
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
Gamblin' Man by Mike Ness
Psychedelic Cowboy Rasta Muslim by Michael Parrish
Fire Down Below by The Waco Brothers
The Pilgrim (Chapter 33) by Paul Burch
I Wish You Knew by Kelly Hogan & Scott Ligon
New Delhi Freight Train by Terry Allen
You Can't Rollerskate in a Buffalo Herd by Roger Miller
The Moon is High by Neko Case

I Was There When It Happened by Johnny Cash
Hillbilly Fever by The Osborne Brothers
Old Camp Meeting Time by Grandpa Jones
Pink Buritto by R. Crumb & His Cheap Suit Serenaders
Sadie Green (The Vamp of New Orleans) by Roy Newman & The Boys
Truck Driver's Blues by Cliff Brunner & His Boys
Shake It and Break It by Devil in the Woodpile
The Man Who Wrote Home Sweet Home Never Was a Married Man by Charlie Parker & Mack Woolbright
Baby It's Cold Outside by June Carter with Homer & Jethro

Ruination Day Set
April the 14th Part I by Gillian Welch
Booth Killed Lincoln by Bascom Lamar Lunsford
The Titantic by Bessie Jones, Hobart Smith and The Georgia Sea Island Singers
The Great Dust Storm by Woody Guthrie
Booth Killed Lincoln (Fiddle Tune) by Bascom Lamar Lunsford
Ruination Day Part 2 by Gillian Welch
Dusty Old Dust (So Long It's Been Good to Know Yuh) by Woody Guthrie
Oklahoma City Bombing by Acie Cargill
Dark Day by The Silver Leaf Quartet

Talking NPR Blues by Utah Phillips
I Tremble for You by Waylon Jennings
I Love You So Much It Hurts Me by Merle Haggard
Unbranded by Hank & Nancy Webster
Weighted Down by Jay Farrar & The Sir Omaha Quintet
Walk to the End of the World by Ronny Elliott
Don't Let Her Know by Ray Charles
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

Steve Terrell is proud to report to the monthly Freeform American Roots Radio list

Friday, April 15, 2005


As published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
April 15, 2005

The New York Time's Elisabeth Bumiller scored a journalistic coup recently when she got hold of a major White House document.

President Bush’s iPod.

Granted, it’s not quite on the same level as 35 years ago when The Times and The Washington Post published The Pentagon Papers, but at least no right-wing bloggers have accused the playlist of being fabricated.

In Monday’s edition, Bumiller reported that the First iPod “is heavy on traditional country singers like George Jones, Alan Jackson and Kenny Chesney. He has selections by Van Morrison, whose "Brown Eyed Girl" is a Bush favorite, and by John Fogerty, most predictably `Centerfield,’ which was played at Texas Rangers games when Mr. Bush was an owner and is still played at ballparks all over America.”

Interesting facts: Bush received his iPod in July as a birthday gift from his daughters. He has about 250 songs on it, (“a paltry number compared to the 10,000 selections it can hold.”) Bush, doesn’t download the music himself. His aide Blake Gottesman does it for him. Apparently Mark McKinnon, a Bush biking buddy and chief media strategist for the 2004 campaign, also has done some downloading for the leader of the free world. Bush mainly listens to it during bicycle workouts.

In evaluating the president’s playlist, Bumiller quotes Joe Levy music editor at Rolling Stone.
“This is basically boomer rock 'n' roll and more recent music out of Nashville made for boomers,” Levy said. “It's safe, it's reliable, it's loving. What I mean to say is, it's feel-good music. The Sex Pistols it's not."

Anyone surprised?

The article notes that despite Bush’s fondness for Fogerty, his iPod doesn’t contain “Fortunate Son,” the Creedence Clearwater Revival song that sounds as if it were written for Bush even though it was a hit more than 30 years before his presidency.

You can also bet he doesn’t have anything from last year’s two volume Rock Against Bush punk compilations that includes selections by Jello Biafra, Social Distortion, Bad Religion, Green Day, The Offspring, Ministry, Rancid and others. And I seriously doubt if he has Mary Gauthier’s “Karla Faye,” a sad ballad about a woman executed when Bush was governor of Texas (discussed a few weeks ago in my column on death-penalty songs.)

Here’s some other songs that would get Blake Gottesman fired if they showed up on Bush’s personal music player:

* “Far Away” By Sleater-Kinney. This song, from the punk-girls’ 2002 album One Beat is about a young mother watching the news on Sept. 11, 2001. The last verse probably would cause Bush to wreck his bike: “And the president hides/while working men rush in/To give their lives …”

* “Bu$hleaguer” by Pearl Jam. Eddie Vedder caused some controversy in Denver last year when he destroyed a Bush mask on stage. (Did I hear calls for a constitutional amendment?) Pearl Jam’s 2002 album Riot Act contained this weird little mainly spoken-word track that had lyrics like “A confidence man, but why so beleaguered?/He's not a leader, he's a Texas leaguer/Swinging for the fence, got lucky with a strike/Drilling for fear, makes the job simple/Born on third, thinks he got a triple.”

* “The Lie” by The Waco Brothers. You might think a president from Crawford, Texas would want to hear something by a band called The Waco Brothers, (led by Jon Langford of The Mekons). If Bush does get curious he probably shouldn’t start with the 2002 album New Deal, which ends with this song: “to the manor born/a silver spoon in your nose/trade up and trade faith/like a new set of clothes/follow suits in new boots/sounds vague, listen close/the lie between the lines.” Of course the Wacos were fairly hard on Bush’s predecessor too. Back in the mid ‘90s they sang a song that began, “The last president of the United States/that’s Dollar Bill the cowboy …”

* “The FCC Song” by Eric Idle. This free internet download from the Monty Python regular apparently was inspired by the Federal Communication Commission’s heavy fines on shock jock Howard Stern. But, sung in a lilting, cheerful English Music Hall style, Idle soon turns it into a hilariously obscene screed against the entire Bush administration: “So fuck you very much dear Mr. Bush/ for heroically sitting on your tush … ” That’s one of the milder parts.

* “President’s Day” by Loudon Wainwright III. This is another internet-only free download released last year. However this song became instantly dated on Nov. 3. “George was the first one -- Abe was the best/Libraries and airports named after the rest/But this year I'm queasy about Presidents' Day/For there's been more than one George I'm sorry to say … And next year at this time I sure hope I can say/I feel a lot better about Presidents' Day/(with no George in the White House -- Oh Happy Day!)”

* “That’s the News” by Merle Haggard. Back in the late ‘60s President Nixon, delighted with anti-hippie songs like “Okie From Muskogee” had Hag play the White House. But Merle, staying true to his populism, has grown more cynical about politicians in this 2003 song. There’s no flag-waving here. “Suddenly the cost of war is somethin' out of sight/Lost a lotta heroes in the fight/Politicians do all the talkin': soldiers pay the dues …”

* “Déjà Vu All Over Again” by John Fogerty. Bumiller points out that Fogerty was part of the anti-Bush "Vote for Change" concert tour during last fall‘s presidential campaign. And the title song of his latest album, inspired by the war in Iraq, proved he had some of the “Fortunate Son” spirit in him. “Day by day, I hear the voices risin'/ Startin' with a whisper like it did before/Day by day, we count the dead and dying/Ship the bodies home while the networks all keep score …”

Thursday, April 14, 2005


Happy Ruination Day, ya'll ...

Reading NewMexiKen this morning, I realized today is April 14, the anniversary of the assassination of President Lincoln, the sinking of the Titanic and the Great Dust Storm of 1935.

I wrote about April 14 a few years ago in reviewing a Gillian Welch album. When I looked up the review I realized I'd written it just a few days after another momentous day in American history, Sept. 11, 2001.

(At the time of writing it, I didn't even snap that April 14 was the actual day of the Great Dust Storm. Should have listened closer to Woody Guthrie. )

So here's my original meditation on April 14. And be sure to listen to The Santa Fe Opry Friday night (10-midnight, KSFR, 90.7 FM) when I'll play an April 14 segment.

As published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
Sept. 21, 2001

In light of last week's terrorist attacks on this country, there are a pair of related songs on the new Gillian Welch album, Time (The Revelator) that take on new relevance.

"April the 14th (Part 1)" and "Ruination Day (Part 2)" are dark meditations on American history and symbolism. In the wake of the horror of 9-11, those songs are both disturbing yet strangely comforting.

"April the 14th" has a slow, mournful melody, while "Ruination Day" is a bluesy tune full of understated rage. Both seem at first a surreal jumble of American history with direct references to the assassination of Abraham Lincoln and the sinking of the Titanic.

Indeed, both these momentous events occurred on April 14. The date almost rivals in historical gravity April 19, the anniversary of Lexington and Concord, Waco and Oklahoma City.

Both songs refer to "God Moves On the Water," an old spiritual about the Titanic that gleefully celebrates the sinking of the great ship as a sign that God will punish mankind for getting too uppity.

But there is no hand-clapping happiness to be found in these songs. The mighty have fallen and the singer is stunned.

There are other stray historical references of doom here -- Okies fleeing the Dust Bowl in the first song; Casey Jones, the engineer of the fabled train wreck in both.

Both "April the 14th" and another song, the lengthy, hypnotic "I Dream a Highway" contain an obscure phrase, "the staggers and the jags," which is an antiquated term for VD. Its used in a historical ballad "Barretts Privateers" by Canadian folksinger Stan Rogers. (Privateers were basically pirates, except they were commissioned by governments to prey on enemy nations.) In the Rogers song, as well as in " April the 14th," the cook in the kitchen has "the staggers and the jags," a vivid metaphor of disease about to spread.

If there is one ray of hope here, its a seemingly unrelated story of the Idaho punk band that unfolds in " April the 14th." Its a crappy gig-- the anonymous band sharing the bill with four others, splitting the $2 cover charge. They didn't make enough cash for a half a tank of gas, and the local press, scumbags that they are, didn't even show. But as the singer watches the group loading their equipment into their van, all she feels is envy and intrigue.

"I watched them walk through the Bottom Land and I wished I played in a rock n roll band," Welch sings.

Although the entire album is acoustic, featuring guitars and banjo by Welch and longtime partner David Rawlings (who co-wrote the songs), Time (The Revelator) is full of rock n roll desire.

"I Want To Sing That Rock and Roll," Welch and Rawlings sing in a live recording also included in the Down From the Mountain soundtrack. Meanwhile "Elvis Presley Blues" contains the refrain "Didn't he die? Didn't he die?" yet the verses celebrate the glory that was Elvis, who "shook it like a chorus girl ... shook it like a Harlem queen ..." and electrified the soul and broke the shackles of a puritanical nation.

"He shook it like a holy roller with his soul at stake."

Welch, in that Idaho band of "April the 14th" sees the spark of Elvis spirit, the spirit of John Henry and Lewis and Clark and the Apollo astronauts. Their van's gas tank might be empty, great ships may strike icebergs and heroes may fall, but they will make it to the next gig one way or another.


As published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
April 14, 2005

We’ve known all along that New Mexico politicians are funny characters.

But in the past week or so, two prominent public servants from the Land of Enchantment have been noticed by national comedy shows on television.

An overweight Hispanic comic impersonated Gov. Bill Richardson as a victim of Bee Gee rage on Saturday Night Live, while Jon Stewart mocked interview footage of U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici last week on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show.

This is pretty impressive for our politicos. After all, Bruce King never made it onto Hee-Haw.

Attacked by a Bee Gee: The last sketch on last week’s SNL was a spoof called “The Barry Gibb Talk Show.” Former cast member Jimmy Fallon played head Bee Gee Barry Gibb, while Justin Timberlake portrayed his brother, Robin Gibb. Their “guests” included Cameron Diaz as U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Drew Barrymore as right-wing author Ann Coulter and Horatio Sanz as the governor of the state of New Mexico.

In the skit, Barry Gibb — speaking in a warbly Bee Gee voice that sometimes slips into a falsetto — asks his guests questions, only to turn on them and angrily berate them. When it’s Richardson’s turn, both brothers Gibb sing his name.

“That’s really great,” Sanz/Richardson says. “First, Barry, let me say that my wife and I are big fans. Every time you guys are in New Mexico, we are there. I mean we really get into it.”

To which Fallon/Gibb replies, “Oh, every time we’re there. That’s really wonderful, considering we haven’t been to New Mexico in 12 friggin’ years. Don’t you patronize me. I’m Barry Gibb! I’ll take out my Bowie knife and gut you like a fish ...”

Watching Gibb yell in Richardson’s face, poke his belly and mess up his tie, I couldn’t help but think of the governor’s ever-present entourage of state police guards, who in real life would have made Bee Gee frappe out of Gibb if he tried that.

Though he didn’t have many lines last week, Sanz was a natural for Richardson. Not only is the resemblance uncanny, but Sanz must have watched a bunch of Richardson’s Larry King appearances to get his mannerisms down. I’m betting this won’t be the last time the Chilean-born funny man impersonates our gov. In fact, I bet Sanz is praying that Richardson runs for president.

Culture of comedy: Domenici’s treatment on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart last week was far more pointed than Richardson’s on SNL. (You can find a link to a Real Audio clip HERE)

Stewart was making a point that many Republican politicians immediately picked up on the Bush administration catch phrase “culture of life” to describe the views of late Pope John Paul II.

He ran a clip of Domenici in Rome — from an interview with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer — saying, “Frankly, this pope, as I view it, is a great, great pillar of humanity ... because he liked freedom and he was in love with the culture of life.”

“Yes!” Stewart said. “As luck would have it, the Pope’s death turned out to be a wonderful time to point out how his views coincided exactly with those of many conservatives.”

After having some similar fun with President Bush’s spokesman Scott McClelland, Stewart said, “Unfortunately for the administration, the Pope also expressed other beliefs.”

He then ran a clip of Blitzer pointing out that Domenici’s support of the death penalty is contrary to the Catholic Church’s position.

“You know, that's a nice question, but I didn't really come on here to talk about that. ” Domenici told Blitzer.

To which Stewart quipped, “I came on here to spin the Pope’s death positively for me.”

In fairness, a transcript of the CNN interview shows that Domenici didn’t actually cut off questioning at that point.

The senator didn’t actual answer Blitzer’s capital punishment question, but he said the Pope, “... stands for some eternal truths and it's hard for a human beings to believe every single one of those things that he talks about, but he will go down in history without question, as one of the great ones. Not only because he thought there were certain truths that were just right, they didn't go left or right, that they were what they were.”

Wednesday, April 13, 2005


Those fabulous brothers Covelle, better known as The Winking Tikis, of Moscow, Idaho have a new soon-to-be smash hit called "Payday Loans." CHECK IT OUT

Monday, April 11, 2005


Sunday, April 10, 2005
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
Now Webcasting
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
An American is a Very Lucky Man by Fred Waring & The Pennsylvanians
Some Kind of Monster by Metallica
Archives of Pain by Manic Street Preachers
Someone's in the Wolf by Queens of the Stone Age
Gimme Dat Ding by The Pipkins

Centerfield by John Fogerty
Take Me Out to The Ballgame by Bruce Springstone
Joltin' Joe DiMaggio by Les Brown featuring Betty Bonney
Catfish by Bob Dylan
Did You See Jackie Robinson Hit That Ball? by Count Basie
Say Hey by The Treniers
I Love Mickey by Teresa Brewer with Mickey Mantle
The Kid From Spavinaw by Tom Russell
Take Me Out to the Ballgame by Gene Kelly & Frank Sinatra

Will You Smile Again by ...And You Will Know Us by The Trail of Dead
Kim Gordon and the Arthur Doyle Hand Cream by Sonic Youth
Rental Car by Beck
The Hump by Heavy Trash
Tobacco Road by Tav Falco
Sleeps With Angels by Neil Young
Victoria by The Kinks
Sally McLennane by The Pogues

Always Horses Coming by Giant Sand
Poison Years by Bob Mould
Empire of the Senseless by The Mekons
Disco Ball by Ana da Silva
All We Have is Now by The Flaming Lips
Innocent When You Dream bv Tom Waits
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Saturday, April 09, 2005


In regard to the post below about my friend Michael Schiavo, I should note that I know what it's like to have the name of a famous person.

I'm constantly getting e-mails from citizens of Allen, Texas complaining about potholes in their roads and from people seeking autographed movie posters of Dragstrip Girl or Invasion of the Saucer-Men.

Life's not fair.


I have an internet friend named Michael Schiavo. We're both members of an internet music board. Over on the right-side column of this blog is a link to his blog, The Unruly Servant. It's been there since the early days of this Web endeavor.

But no, my friend is not that Michael Schiavo. My friend is not from Florida and never was married to Terri Schiavo.

There's some pretty funny posts about the situation over on Michael's blog. (HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE.)

He's taking it with fairly good humor, even though he's apparently received lots of hate e-mails from the Culture of Life crowd.

So if you're some weird loser looking to harass Terri Schiavo's husband, please leave my friend alone.


Friday, April 8, 2005
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
Now Webcasting
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
It's Party Time by Cornell Hurd
A Girl Don't Have to Drink to Have Fun by Jane Baxter Miller & Kent Kessler
Button My Lip by Elvis Costello
Help Me Make It Through the Night by Jon Langford & Chip Taylor
Shakin' the Blues by Robbie & Donna Fulks
Has My Gal Been by Here by Devil in a Woodpile
Delia's Gone by Johnny Cash
Blind Man's Penis by John Trubee & The Ugly Janitors of America

Little Pink Mack by Kay Adams
How Fast Them Trucks Can Go by Claude Gray
Diesel Dazey by Killbilly
I'm Comin'Home by Johnny Horton
Semi-Truck by Bill Kirchen
Giddy Up Go by Red Sovine
Semi Crazy by Junior Brown with Red Simpson
Good Morning Mr. Trucker by The World Famous Blue Jays
Diesel Smoke (Dangerous Curves) by Doye O'Dell
A Trucker's Prayer by Dave Dudley

It's Moving Day by Charlie Poole
Louisville Burglar by The Hickory Nuts
Nevada Johnny by Cliff Carlisle
Coon From Tennessee by The Georgia Crackers
Cocaine Blues by Dick Justice
Rising Sun Blues by King David's Jug Band
On the Banks of the Kaney by Big Chief Henry's Indian String Band
Late Last Night When Willie Came Home by Uncle Dave Macon & Sam McGee
How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times by Blind Alfred Reed

Look at Miss Ohio by Gillian Welch
Palm of Your Hand by Shine Cherries
Barstool Blues by Maria McKee
Walk to the End of the World by Ronny Elliott
Song for Harlan by Audrey Auld Mezera
Diamonds in the Rough by June Carter Cash
Dust on Mother's Bible by Buck Owens
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets

Steve Terrell is proud to report to the monthly Freeform American Roots Radio list

Friday, April 08, 2005


It's been Hell trying to get stuff posted the last couple of days. On yesterday's Roundhouse Round-up post there were some cut-and-paste glitches I was trying to straighten out. And then I wanted to update when the governor vetoed the bill I'd written about. But I couldn't get onto Blogger.

This was true of my home and work computers. After midnight I was trying to post the new Terrell's Tune-up but I couldn't get on.

I learned I was not alone. CLICK HERE.

The advice the Blogger status page is giving is to delete all your cookies. I tossed my cookies a couple of times. It didn't work right away, but finally I was able to edit Round-up and post Tune-up. I just hope Blogger gets everything fixed real fast. When I turned in last night I was having serious flashbacks about the troubles I had with my old Dreamwater site.


As published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
April 8, 2005

Somehow I completely missed The Holy Bible by Manic Street Preachers when it originally was released in the mid 1990s. Though I peripherally was aware of this Welch band through the years, somehow I never checked them out.

One excuse I have is that until the recent 10th Anniversary Edition, this record never was released in these United States. The set includes a re-mastered original version of the album, a previously unreleased American remix, several bonus live and demo tracks and a DVD featuring live performances and a lengthy interview segment.

This one of the most intense, emotional, visceral, disturbing rock ’n’ roll albums ever made.

Some Manics fans have compared Bible to The Clash’s London Calling. True, there’s some good left-wing political screedery going on in songs like “Ifwhiteamericatoldthetruthforonedayit’sworldwouldfallapart.”

But I hear it more aligned with John Lennon’s Plastic Ono Band or Nirvana’s In Utero.

And yet the gloom of its darkest lyrics are offset by its melodic, even catchy accessibility -- high-energy guitars crunching happily as nightmares flow through the mouth of singer James Dean Bradfield from the damaged mind of lyricist Richey Edwards.

There’s even a bizarre and tragic mystery associated with The Holy Bible. In February 1995, soon before the album was to be released in the U.S., guitarist Edwards left his hotel room in London was never seen again.

His car was found near a bridge known as a jumping-off place for suicides. Most assume that was Edwards’ fate. But no body was ever found. And he didn’t leave a note. Unless you count some of the lyrics in this album.

In the years before his disappearance, Edwards was a self-destructive rock ‘n’ roll mess -- alcoholism and anorexia being among his chief symptoms.

The song “4st 7lb” (that means 4 stone, seven pounds -- or 87 pounds), included on this album is a terrifying description of a young girl in the throes of anorexia.

“See my third rib appear/A week later all my flesh disappears/Stretching taut, cling-film on bone/I'm getting better … Self-worth scatters, self-esteem's a bore/I long since moved to a higher plateau/This discipline's so rare so please applaud/Just look at the fat scum who pamper me so …”

In the interview on the DVD, Manics bass player Nicky Wire says that Edwards wrote about 75 percent of the lyrics on The Holy Bible. Wire wrote some of the more political songs, but he says he was fairly happy at the time -- he’d just gotten married and bought a house.

But the dark and stark lyrics were just flowing out of his bandmate at the time.

Images of dictators, serial killers, murders and cruelty splatter all over Edwards’ songs. “We are all of walking abortions,” he wrote -- and Bradfield wails it like he means it.

The self-loathing and deeply embedded cynicism is unrelenting:

“I eat and I dress and I wash/And I still can say thank you/Puking, shaking, sinking/I still stand for old ladies/Can't shout, can't scream/Hurt myself to get pain out …” (from “Yes“)

“Self-disgust is self-obsession honey and I do as I please/ A morality obedient only to the cleansed repented …” (from “Faster.”)

“The Intense Humming of Evil” with a nightmarish repeated industrial scaping noise as a sonic backdrop drop, deals with the “six million screaming souls” of the Holocaust, concluding with “Drink it away, every tear is false/Churchill no different/Wished the workers bled to a machine.”

Edwards’ disappearance caused the U.S. division of Sony to decide not to release the album in this country. I’m still not exactly sure why.

But be glad they finally did release it. No matter when the music was actually made, this record still sounds fresh. The wounds are still raw.

Also Recommended:

*Worlds Apart
by And You Will Know us By the Trail of Dead. O.K. maybe Bob Dylan can get away with doing a song about the Egyptian goddess Isis, but a hard rock band that starts off an album with such a tune -- especially with an eerie soundtracky female chorale and strings -- they can expect to catch a certain amount of crap for invoking hobbit-hugging ‘70s prog rock.

But while there are a few weird missteps on this album, there’s plenty to like about Worlds Apart.
This clearly is a departure from their previous work. It’s more melodic, less muddy and definitely more experimental.

There’s strange little touches like the muted trumpet in “Will You Smile Again?”, the chamber music interlude of “To Russia My Homeland,” the Billy Joel piano-ballad style of “Summer of ’91” (Sweet Lordy Jesus! There’s already nostalgia songs about the ‘90s?)

No, Trail of Dead hasn’t completely forsaken its swirling guitar rage that some said made them a Texas answer to Sonic Youth. You can hear it in “A Classic Arts Showcase” and “Let It Dive.”

Probably the most jarring tune here is the title cut. In some ways it sounds like a generic, neo-Green Day hoppy-poppy, latter-day punk tune. It talks about new music sounding all the same and jerks on MTV and soccer moms who raise their kids on television, American materialism, hypocrisy, blah blah blah. Pretty standard modern rock kevetching.

But in the final refrain, Conrad Keely sings, “How they laughed as we shoveled the ashes/Of the twin towers/Blood and debt, we will pay back the debt/For this candy store of ours.”

Never mind the Egyptian chants and Russian violins. There’s still danger along the Trail of Dead.

Thursday, April 07, 2005


UPDATE: Late Thursday afternoon, the governor's office announced that Gov. Bill Richardson had vetoed SB 384.

As published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
April 7, 2005

Imagine this scene: It’s a big ceremonial bill signing in the governor’s Cabinet Room. A few reporters and TV cameramen scramble for a place around the big marble table. The room is crowded, as has been the case with bill signings for the past couple of weeks.

But this time it’s not anti-driving-while-intoxicated activists or election-reform advocates or animal-rights crusaders who crowd into the room.

No, this is the official signing of Senate Bill 384, which would allow the state Gaming Control Board to grant gambling licenses to people and organizations that have had their gaming licenses revoked in other states. Dozens of disgraced casino operators, crooked racetrack owners, card sharks, con men and shady ladies from around the country have come to take turns saying, “I’d just like to thank the governor.”

(Swirling music ... columnist awakes, sputtering ... it was only a dream ... only a dream ... )

No, such a scene won’t happen. Not even if Gov. Bill Richardson signs SB 384 by Friday’s deadline. No separate bill signing has been scheduled for that bill, Richardson spokesman Billy Sparks confirmed Wednesday. If he signs it, it will be behind closed doors with no TV cameras or passing out of red ballpoint pens or press releases about how the bill boldly moves New Mexico forward and helps working families.

Sparks gave no hint how the governor would act on the bill.

Current state law says the state Gaming Board shall not issue a license to an applicant who has been denied a license or had a license revoked or suspended in any state. The new bill would change “shall not” to “may refuse to.” (Emphasis mine.)

The Hubbard factor: If signed into law, SB 384 could rescue Ruidoso and Hobbs racetrack owner R.D. Hubbard. He is in danger of receiving disciplinary action from the state of Indiana, which could jeopardize his gambling license here.

Hubbard’s problem stems from a 2001 scandal at the Belterra Casino Resort, operated by Pinnacle Entertainment, for which Hubbard was board chairman. Among other allegations, the company was accused of flying in prostitutes to entertain high-roller guests at a Belterra golf tournament.

In a settlement with the Indiana Gaming Commission, Hubbard voluntary relinquished his gambling license there.

However, a federal lawsuit filed by Pinnacle in January could result in the commission imposing further sanctions against Hubbard, which, under the current law, could affect his New Mexico license.

Not that filthy lucre would ever affect a politician’s actions, but for the record, Hubbard companies contributed $40,000 to Richardson’s 2002 gubernatorial campaign.

Legislative debate: Sen. Phil Griego, D-San Jose, who introduced SB 384 the same day Pinnacle filed its suit against Hubbard, said he had no knowledge of the lawsuit at the time.

“That bill wasn’t brought to me by Mr. Hubbard or the casinos,” Griego said Wednesday. “The Gaming Commission brought me the bill. I’ve never met Mr. Hubbard.”

The commission wanted the bill because it also removes a cap on the salary of the commission director, Griego said. He also said the bill would help nonprofit clubs that have been turned down for gambling licenses in other states.

Griego said he hadn’t been aware the state prohibited people who had gotten in trouble in other states from getting gambling licenses here.

On the last day of the legislative session, Sen. Cisco McSorley, D-Albuquerque, gave an impassioned speech attacking SB 384 on the Senate floor. Such legislation sends a message, he said, that New Mexico welcomes “the dregs” of the gambling industry.

“Why should we make our standards so low?” McSorley said Wednesday. “The gambling industry preys on people too stupid to know the odds. Why would we ask people who don’t have to play by the rules to run our gambling institutions?”

However, McSorley’s protests didn’t come until well after the Senate unanimously had passed SB 384. McSorley admitted even he voted for it.

He said there was no discussion initially of the controversial section about gaming applicants who had trouble in other states. “It was presented as a way to help the nonprofits,” McSorley said.

But after the vote, he studied the bill. So when the House amended the bill and sent it back to the Senate on that last morning of the session, “I was lying in wait,” McSorley said.

The Senate refused to go along with the House amendment. But in the last few minutes of the session, the House voted, with no debate, to approve the Senate version.

Springtime in New Hampshire: The news that Richardson is headed to New Hampshire in June to speak to a Latino summit in Manchester and a local Democratic gathering sounds like a rerun.

In this very column, almost exactly a year ago, I revealed the governor was going to the University of New Hampshire to give a commencement speech. “It’s got absolutely nothing to do with the 2008 New Hampshire primary,” Sparks said last year.

Brace yourself for more such denials in the months to come.

Bonus: Here's the Indiana Gaming Commission minutes on the infamous Belterra golf tournament. These hookers were so loud, they disrupted Howie Mandell! And hey, nobody should be allowed to disrupt Waylon Jennings and get away without a serious ass whoopin'!

On June 26, 2001, eight or more women were flown to an area airport on an aircraft leased by Pinnacle. According to numerous witnesses these women were brought to Belterra for the entertainment of the guests of the golf tournament. On several occasions several of the women were referred to as "hookers". On the evenings of June 26, 2001 and June 27, 2001, Hubbard directed Belterra casino employees to provide money to the invitees for gambling and to pay other fees without the necessary paperwork. On at least one occasion, on Hubbard's authority, Belterra employees made a distribution from the cage to an associate of Hubbard's. On the evening of June 27, 2001, Howie Mandel performed in the Belterra concert arena. At this concert, a party was hosted in the Celebrity Room of the concert arena where the women and the invitees of the golf outing were present. The party was loud and Mandel had to stop the concert several times because of the disturbances caused by the group in the Celebrity Room. On the evening of June 28, 2001 Waylon Jennings performed in the Belterra concert arena. Again, during this concert a party was hosted in the Celebrity Room for the women and the invitees to the golf tournament. The party became loud and disrupted the concert several times. After the concert the invitees and the women retired to a room on the 15th floor where the party continued. On June 29, 2001 the majority of the invitees and the women left the casino via ground transportation or air transportation.

Monday, April 04, 2005


Sunday, April 3, 2005
KSFR, Santa Fe, N.M.
Now Webcasting
10 p.m. to midnight Sundays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

OPENING THEME: Let it Out (Let it All Hang Out) by The Hombres
Faster by Manic Street Preachers
Wargasm by L7
Don't Bring Me Down by Eric Burdon & The Animals
Fall on You by Moby Grape
Worlds Apart by ... and You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
I'm the Ocean by Neil Young & Pearl Jam
Whiskey Sex Shack by The Mekons
Odessa by The Red Elvises

Burn the Witch by Queens of the Stone Age
Lover Street by Heavy Trash
The Young Psychotics by Tav Falco
My Guitar Wants to Kill Your Mama by Frank Zappa
I See the Light by The Five Americans
Black Tambourine by Beck
Dude Ranch Nurse by Sonic Youth
Judy in Disguise With Glasses by John Fred & His Playboy Band

Too Many Puppies by Primus
Going Down by The Monkees
Little Japan by Los Lobos
Million Miles by Bob Dylan
Down Fall by Stuurbaard Bakkebaard
I Can Make Music by Al Green

Sail on Sailor by The Beach Boys
Stop Coming to My House by Mogwai
Drawn in the Dark by X
When I Was Cruel No. 2 by Elvis Costello
This One's From the Heart by Tom Waits & Crystal Gayle
CLOSING THEME: Over the Rainbow by Jerry Lee Lewis

Friday, April 01, 2005


Friday, April 1, 2005
KSFR, Santa Fe, NM
Now Webcasting
10 p.m. to midnight Fridays Mountain Time
Host: Steve Terrell

OPENING THEME: Buckaroo by Buck Owens & The Buckaroos
Evening Breeze by Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks
When I'm Drinkin' by Devil in the Woodpile
The Streets of Bakersfield by Jon Langford & Sally Timms
That's All it Took by Gram Parson & The Fallen Angels
Ashgrove by Dave Alvin
The Moon is High by Neko Case
Mother's Not Dead by Acie Cargill
Flop Eared Mule by Charlie Poole & The Highlanders

Walking Bum by Heavy Trash
Factory Dog by John Schooley & His One Man Band
Across the Borderline by Ry Cooder with Freddy Fender
Rocking Chair by The Band
Country Darkness by Elvis Costello
TruckDrivin' Son of a Gun by Dave Dudley
Girl from the North Country by Bob Dylan with Johnny Cash
Hard When It Ain't by Waylon Jennings

Tom Russell Set
(All Songs by Tom Russell except where noted)
Pilgrim Land featuring The Rev. Baybie Hoover & Virginia Brown
Old America
Hotwalker by Little Jack Horton
Blue Wing (TR with Dave Alvin)
Touch of Evil (TR with Eliza Gilkyson)
The Sky Above, The Mud Below
The Kid From Spavinaw
Swap Meet Jesus by Little Jack Horton
The Outcast by Dave Van Vonk
Haley's Comet (TR with Dave Alvin & Katy Moffat)
Sitting Bull in Venice
Coda by Little Jack Horton
CLOSING THEME: Comin' Down by The Meat Puppets


As published in The Santa Fe New Mexican
April 1, 2005

Tom Russell‘s new CD Hotwalker, subtitled A Ballad for a Gone America, is a sad celebration of a lost time, a bittersweet, nostalgic work about the literary, musical and cultural milieu of Russell’s formative years in Los Angeles, a righteous invocation of “the old America when music still resonated through nightclubs, people gambled and drank and screwed and smoked. People went down to the border and sipped highballs and cocktails and went to the bullfights. The old America where the big guilt and political correctness and the chain stores hadn't sunk in so deep.”

Although Russell is one of the finest songwriters of this era, this isn’t a collection of songs. Though there are a couple of new tunes hidden within, this actually is an audio documentary narrated by Russell.

He lets us eavesdrop on a conversation with a border town cab driver (“donkey show … especial for you …) and hear snippets from old-time gospel music from Rev. Baybie Hoover and Virginia Brown as he talks about skid-row gospel buskers. We hear a Tex-Mex version of “96 Tears" by accordionist Joel Guzman as Russell reminisces of Norteno music and pachuco boogie.

Border town cantinas, smoky L.A. jazz clubs, and Bakersfield honky tonks provide much of the backdrop in Hotwalker. The Bakersfield sound was “fueled by a million Okies hopped up on Okie moonshine and amphetamines … it was the other side of Steinbecks’ Grapes of Wrath mixed with Nudie suits and women in push-up bras and it was real gone. It was gone hillbilly music too rude for polite middleclass white-boy ears …”

Russell speaks and signs lovingly of his heros from California and beyond -- Charles Bukowski, Edward Abbey, Lenny Bruce, Buck Owens, Jack Kerouac, Woody Guthrie and hobo/musical innovator Harry Partch. And in many cases they speak back with jokes, songs and benedictions in old scratchy old sound clips.

And Dave Van Ronk, the “Pope of Greenwich Village,” the gravel-voiced folkie father figure. (Personal note: Van Ronk is responsible for me getting into journalism. He was my first interview 25 years ago -- an assignment that entailed getting smashed with him on Irish whiskey and tequila at La Posada. That momentous evening is captured in this Feb. 1980 photo by my first ex-wife Pam Mills.)

Standing tall among these giants is a midget -- Little Jack Horton, a Bukowski drinking buddy. As Russell explains, "He's been shot out of canons, he did the pass of death on a Shetland pony, he rode the Four Walls of Eternity on a motorcycle. He appeared in movies like The Terror of Tiny Town and One-Eyed Jacks with Marlon Brando. And he wrote poetry. This is a true American voice from the sawdust back lots of the Old World."

Horton, who died last year, tells crazy stories. He talks about stealing a train engine at 4 a.m. with Bukowski. He talks about the time in 1951 when he was hired to substitute for Roy Weller, a dwarf evangelist known as “The World’s Smallest Voice of God.” Horton riled the rednecks in the gospel tent when he told the all-white crowd that the God of the Black people was better than theirs because their music was better.

One could argue -- and some critics have -- that beatnik/counter-culture heroes like Kerouac, Guthrie, Bruce and Bukowski have been eulogized plenty, and, as a recent review by Barry Mazor in No Depression said that the icons Russell memorializes here “would seem over saluted, for anybody that would hear this.”

That could be true. It can be argued that a lot of people in this country need to know about these underground titans. I was outraged when Allen Ginsberg died in 1997, a young editor on duty at this very newspaper didn’t know who he was. Of course that editor probably would never pick up an album like Hotwalker . So there is this unfortunate question of “preaching to the saved.”

And while I agree with Russell when he said, “There’s a deadening of the spirit in America today, and the record hits out at that.” (from a March 17 interview in The Georgia Straight) I have trouble with Russell’s implication that all the good stuff is all gone.

It’s true that Van Ronk and Bukowski are dead; that 99 percent of radio sucks; that those Bakersfield beer joints have been replaced by Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace, where Buck comes out and sings recent hits by Shania Twain and Toby Keith.

But in reality, did this Golden Age really exist? Even in the ‘40s ‘50s and ‘60s most the people who Russell canonizes were unknown to mainstream America. Name all of Woody Guthrie’s top 10 radio hits. Some, like Bruce, were demonized and persecuted by the law, with middle America firmly in agreement with the oppression. And some, like Kerouac, were marginalized and turned into some cartoonish joke by the mainstream.

And I believe there still are vital, vibrant voices out there creating crazy music and literature worth reading. You have to look in off-the-beaten track music hangouts, coffee houses, churches and -- dare I say it? -- weird corners of the Internet. You won’t find it on Clear Channel stations.

But I love this amazing and eloquent work by Russell. And I love the ranting coda of Little Jack Horton, “half-drunk on bad wine,” when he declares, “it's our goddamn country. We built the goddamn midway didn't we? And we make the music that goes on the midway from sea to goddamn shining sea. You know, goddamn it, Ronald Reagan dies recently and they fly the flag half-mast. Well did they fly it half-mast for Ray Charles, did they fly it half mast for Johnny Cash? Declare a national holiday? These people moved to changed the daily lives of more people than these goddam politicians, who are just grifters and scum... One nation under God and Johnny Cash, Hank Williams and Ray Charles, goddamn it!”

Tom Russell Special: Hear a wide load of Hotwalker and Russell tunes tonight on The Santa Fe Opry 10-midnight, KSFR 90.7 FM.


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